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Mar. Drugs 2014, 12(7), 4069-4085; doi:10.3390/md12074069

Ovothiol Isolated from Sea Urchin Oocytes Induces Autophagy in the Hep-G2 Cell Line

1,†,* , 1,†
1 Institute of Food Sciences, National Research Council, Avellino 83100, Italy 2 Laboratory of Cellular and Developmental Biology, Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn, Naples 80121, Italy 3 Department of Chemical Sciences, University of Naples Federico II, Naples 80126, Italy These authors contributed equally to this work.
* Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 April 2014 / Revised: 11 June 2014 / Accepted: 23 June 2014 / Published: 7 July 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioactive Compounds from Marine Invertebrates)
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Ovothiols are histidine-derived thiols isolated from sea urchin eggs, where they play a key role in the protection of cells toward the oxidative burst associated with fertilization by controlling the cellular redox balance and recycling oxidized glutathione. In this study, we show that treatment of a human liver carcinoma cell line, Hep-G2, with ovothiol A, isolated from Paracentrotus lividus oocytes, results in a decrease of cell proliferation in a dose-dependent manner. The activation of an autophagic process is revealed by phase contrast and fluorescence microscopy, together with the expression of the specific autophagic molecular markers, LC3 II and Beclin-1. The effect of ovothiol is not due to its antioxidant capacity or to hydrogen peroxide generation. The concentration of ovothiol A in the culture media, as monitored by HPLC analysis, decreased by about 24% within 30 min from treatment. The proliferation of normal human embryonic lung cells is not affected by ovothiol A. These results hint at ovothiol as a promising bioactive molecule from marine organisms able to inhibit cell proliferation in cancer cells.
Keywords: ovothiols; autophagy; sea urchin; Hep-G2 ovothiols; autophagy; sea urchin; Hep-G2
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Russo, G.L.; Russo, M.; Castellano, I.; Napolitano, A.; Palumbo, A. Ovothiol Isolated from Sea Urchin Oocytes Induces Autophagy in the Hep-G2 Cell Line. Mar. Drugs 2014, 12, 4069-4085.

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